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You Can Go Home Again
New reunion activities let alumni connect with the Northwestern of today.
Reunion parties will again be held at several on-campus locations, including Patten Gym. From left, Jean (WCAS65) and George (WCAS67, KSM69) Stephanson, Helen Ashley (WCAS67), Jim Burns (SESP67) and Ed Whalen (WCAS66) celebrated their reunion last fall at Patten.

Photo by Jim Ziv

Richard Turner, editor of the 1962 Syllabus, has dusted off his yearbook. "It’s been wonderful to go back to that time of our lives and remember what we were like," he says.

Yet for all his nostalgia, Turner (J62), a 40th reunion committee member, is eager to return to the Northwestern campus for reunion weekend 2002, scheduled for Oct. 25 through 27, so he can see firsthand and participate in the University’s "phenomenal" progress.

For alumni from this year’s fall reunion classes, the Northwestern Alumni Association has organized an array of activities that will reconnect them to their alma mater and allow them to sample what the University has to offer today.

In addition to seeing old friends and enjoying traditional events like the homecoming parade and the Wildcat Alley pre-game tailgate party, members of the classes of 1957, 1962, 1971–72, 1977, 1982, 1992, 1997 and 2002 will be renewing their bonds with Northwestern.

Alumni will be able to learn about contemporary student life through tours of the campus and the residence halls — including the new Slivka Residence Hall, home to the residential college of science and engineering, which was established through a major gift from the Wissner-Slivka Foundation. Co-founder Ben Slivka (McC82, GMcC85) will be celebrating over the weekend with his class.

Classes without Quizzes, which are lectures delivered by faculty members at individual schools, return for a second year, as do receptions hosted by the deans of each school. Alumni can also visit the Medill School of Journalism’s open house for The McCormick Tribune Center, a new media facility.

The weekend lineup also includes a number of new activities that will appeal to alumni and family members alike. On Friday attendees can opt to take part in a seminar offered by the Department of Career Services. Children from age 8 up can work out with members of the men’s and women’s basketball teams at the Sports Fantasy Practice at Welsh-Ryan Arena. On Saturday members of the Office of Undergraduate Admission explain the admission process for children and grandchildren of alumni.

"By including some practical activities with the fun, we can show alumni parts of the University they may not have experienced as undergraduates and that will be useful to them throughout their lives," says Catherine Stembridge (GC00), the Northwestern Alumni Association executive director.

Sara Burkoff Owens (C82, GJ83), 20th reunion committee member and event co-chair, is expecting a big turnout from her class. "Nearly everyone I’ve called and asked to either participate on the committee, or attend the reunion, has responded positively," she says. "I have a feeling we’re going to break Northwestern attendance records for a 20th reunion."

Over the past year class reunion co-chairs and committee members have been planning their individual reunion parties at such on-campus facilities as Patten Gymnasium, Guild Lounge in Scott Hall, Charles Deering Library and the James L. Allen Center. Off-campus parties are set for restaurants in Evanston and Chicago.

Amy Falk Sheldon (C92), a 10th reunion committee co-chair, will be traveling from Arlington, Va., to attend the reunion. She’s especially looking forward to her class party in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. "That’s just a natural place for us to socialize," she says. "Most of my friends who stayed in the Chicago area live there, and that’s where we used to go when we were students."

For fifth reunion committee member and gift co-chair Tim Spilker (C97), who stayed in Chicago after graduation, the role of alumnus has become comfortable. He plans to celebrate the weekend not only with his fifth reunion class in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood but with alumni from other classes. "I’m really excited about renewing old bonds and building new ones," Spilker says.

For the latest information on fall reunions, log on to www.alumni.northwestern.edu/reunions,

 

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